C.J. Anaya's Reviews > Silent Cats: Deadly Dance

Silent Cats by J.D. Wallace
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it was amazing

I was hesitant to read this book at first because you are told right from the get-go (in the synopsis) that a main character is going to die, and I'm such a sucker for happy endings, but what truly moved me about this narrative was the overall message: Kat and Marcus did get their happy ending through the twenty years they spent loving one another.

In the very first chapter we experience the deaths of Kat and her two children. I found it amazing that the author was able to weave a scenario where I became so attached to Kat and her children right before they were killed. There wasn't much time to get me attached to the characters, but he managed to get me there. The dialogue and obvious love they share for one another makes you want to hold onto them for just a moment longer since you know exactly what is coming and your heart is breaking for their predicament. Really smart set-up to the story, not to mention an utterly gripping way to pull me in and keep me reading.

Marcus, AKA Pantera, is a complex, multi-dimensional character whom I now consider my new book boyfriend however fan-girl and high school that might sound. Beautiful character development here. He's portrayed as a sociopath, the higher the IQ the less empathy someone has for their fellow man, and apparently Pantera is an absolute genius so you're not expecting someone who hates and disrespects women and feels nothing as he interrogates and tortures his targets to develop a softer side when it comes to Kat. This is what makes his character so compelling. To see him behave in a way he normally wouldn't, feel emotions he's never had before, and begin to consider a future with a woman he can love and respect is so satisfying.

In that same vein we see Kat as a man-hating, tough master assassin with no weaknesses, vulnerabilities or flaws, but soon we discover that her vulnerabilities exist within her loving heart-not something you would expect from an assassin-her anguish over the death of her brother, and her wish to make her father proud, something that seems to be nearly impossible in a culture and profession so dominated by men. Her ability to trust Pantera and the love that he wants to offer her is something that takes time due to her personal baggage and his own personal frailties. There's a lot of great internal conflict for both of these characters which makes for some beautiful moments of dialogue, connection and understanding in an environment that is anything but normal, healthy or even safe.

The details concerning life as a special operative with a team that goes on dangerous assignments was so informative. It's obvious that the author lived the life of a soldier within intelligence agencies, not that I would have a clue as to whether or not what the author wrote was a load of crap, but I don't see how any of those technical terms, events or protocols could be fabricated with such detail. This guy knows his stuff which helps to paint the most vivid, accurate picture of what is happening during missions and on the military base.

I've gotta be honest when I say that I read those torture scenes with my mouth hanging open and my mind wondering if those torture techniques are really used in interrogations. I'm thinking the answer to that question is yes. The use of humor that Pantera employs during these torture sequences makes the whole thing so morbid in nature, but at the same time you realize that their prisoners are just ridiculously evil, and information gained from them is going to save innocent lives. Then suddenly I'm just as gung-ho about the torture as anyone else in the room. Creepy, that! Once again, nice writing and presentation from the author. It's like watching a train wreck and not being able to rip your eyes away from the inevitable carnage...and then not being sure if you even want to. Just a heads up in case you're sensitive to that type of scenario. I also want to let other readers know that the book does contain profanity and some sexual elements, some of which I had to skip over. You've been warned.

The action during the missions was so intense. I enjoyed getting deep into Kat's profession and then switching over to Pantera's. Incredible to see how they were able to develop a relationship with so much trauma going on. At least, what any civilian would believe to be traumatic. I get that these guys are trained for that stuff, but dang, it makes you appreciate the sacrifices made by those officers who work to keep this world a safer place. Their camaraderie and loyalty to one another makes you realize that there are some people in this world who possess integrity and who are able to hold onto their humanity even when they have to commit acts that may not seem so humane at the time, but are done for the greater good.

From a technical aspect I would like to point out that the author does quite a bit of head jumping within scenes. Normally, if there are several points of view within one scene the narrative gets confusing because we aren't sure from whose perspective we are supposed to see events unfold. This was especially confusing when the points of view switched from Pantera to his teammates like Grit or Crackers. However, I actually enjoyed reading both points of view when Pantera and Kat shared a scene together because we received real time reactions to the other person's dialogue. Pantera would say something, and Kat would immediately have a thought about it. Kat would mention something, and then we received Pantera's thoughts and emotional reactions. I have never read a narrative where head jumping in a scene actually worked, but it really did between Kat and Pantera, creating a funny banter with the outer dialogue and witty reactions with the inner dialogue. Though not technically accurate in the world of writing, I found it worked for me, although I would suggest that the author try to keep from head jumping in other aspects of the book with different characters with whom we aren't quite as familiar.

I thought this book was amazing. Mr. Wallace has created the most compelling look into the life of a black ops operative while weaving in a story of love, loyalty, and acceptance, managing to stay true to Kat and Pantera's message of a rather unorthodox happily ever after. The two most meaningful words I could say to this author in regards to the opportunity given to me to read and review this book are the two words Pantera and Grit faithfully repeated to the women they cherished and loved: thank you.

I gave it five cherry blossoms!
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 3, 2015 – Shelved
October 3, 2015 – Finished Reading

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J.D. Wallace CJ - No. Thank you. And you are right about the head-hopping, the next book in the series will have much less from secondary characters. Beautifully written review. Peace.

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